The Department of State Security Services, DSS has uncovered Supreme Court’s bank account said to contain billions of naira.
According to The Nation, the account is being operated outside the civil service procedures. The report further states that money from the account was also said to have been withdrawn regularly to fund foreign travels of some judges.
The agency is now investigating how and for what reason (s) the account was opened. Supreme Court justices and even staff of the apex court are believed to draw from it. Investigators suspect that the dollars seized from the homes of some of the judges under probe may have come from the account.
The DSS has already restricted the movement of the Registrar of the Supreme Court, Ahmed Saleh and some top officials to the country on account of its investigation of the suspicious account.
Also restricted are the Director of Finance, Muhammed Abdulrahman Sharif and Rilwanu Lawal.
Only last Thursday, the Federal Government filed a nine-count charge of diversion of N2.2billion against the three top officials.
A highly-placed source said: “In line with the current investigation of some judges, the DSS has discovered a suspicious account in the Supreme Court. The modalities for the operation of the account allegedly against the extant financial regulations were being probed by the security agency.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspicious account was used to cater for foreign trips of some judges, including a few ones who were arrested by the DSS.
“The remittances into the account were in billions of Naira. There is a strong suspicion by the DSS that the dollars seized from the residences of some of these judges were drawn from the suspicious account.
“Some principal officers have been interrogated by the secret service. The manner in which the account was operated was suspected to be outside the extant laws in the civil service.
“It is left to the civil servants to prove that the processes of opening the account and managing it were legal and transparent. Otherwise, they have a case to answer.”
Another source said one of the officials was intercepted at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja while trying to travel out of the country for a conference.
“None of the officials can travel out until the ongoing investigation is completed,” the source said.
The DSS is currently probing seven judges, two of them justices of the apex court, for alleged corruption.
The judges are Justices Agbadu James Fishim; Uwani Abba Aji; Mohammed Nasir Yunusa; Hyeladzira Ajiya Nganjiwa; Musa Haruna Kurya and the only female judge, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia.